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This country at a glance

10203869
Total population.
14
Colleges that offer programs taught entirely in English.
12
English-taught bachelor's programs offered.
131
English-taught master's programs offered.

Best Universities in Portugal for International Students

These universities have been vetted to accepted international students and offer programs that have no foreign language requirements.

Why should I study in Portugal?

Portugal’s beautiful coastline, warm sunny weather, and rich cultural history make it a compelling place to study. It is mainland Europe’s most western country and also one of the most affordable European countries to study in.

With much of the country surrounded by coastlines, Portugal is known for its maritime heritage. The only country it borders is Spain to the east and north, while the south and west are exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. With summer temperatures in the 80s and winter temperatures rarely dropping below 40, Portugal has a great climate. The warm climate combined with the beautiful coastline makes Portugal perfect for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts. 

Portugal has a relatively homogenous population compared to other European countries and is still strongly religious, with a Roman Catholic majority. The country is also known for its lenient stance on drugs, being the first state to decriminalize the use of all drugs. Many see the positive effects on the country as it has fewer drug-related problems than the European average. Portuguese is the main language and is also the third most widely spoken European language worldwide. English is not widely spoken but is becoming more common with the influx of tourists to the country.

However, there are a number of programs and courses that are taught in English. The higher education system is composed of two types of institutions. First, there are regular public universities, which often have places specifically for non-EU students. Then there are polytechnics, which take a more vocational approach, providing students with profession-orientated skills. Generally, public universities are more highly regarded than polytechnics.

How to Get Into the Best Unis in Portugal

There are no really consistent "national" admissions requirements. Each university or polytechnic institution has different application procedures depending on study programs. This means different admission requirements, different deadlines, and different documents. For undergraduate studies, SAT or ACT scores can usually be submitted as a substitute for entrance examinations.

Many schools may require you to get your diploma legalized.  If your country is a member of The Hague Conference (and the US is a member), this is a fairly easy process as all you will need is something called an "apostille certificate" affixed to your diploma.  Your Secretary of State's office can generally issue this, but a full list is provided here. Check here to see if your country is a member of the HCCH.

Proof of means requirements.

You'll be required to demonstrate financial proof of means in the form of a bank statement with a balance that can reasonably cover your stay in Portugal. No amount was specified in the sources we researched. An educated guess would be to mirror Spain's amount ($1,000 per month for the length applied for), as the cost of living in Portugal is quite reasonable.

Working in Portugal as an International Student

International students can work up to 20 hours a week and full time over the summer.

Student Residence Options in Portugal

Students staying in Portugal for longer than 90 days will need a visa. You can apply for a visa at the nearest embassy or consulate, once you've been accepted, before you leave for Portugal.

You will need the following documents: a passport, three passport-sized photos, a copy of your criminal record (or lack thereof), proof of health insurance, proof of housing in Portugal, proof of means upon arriving in Portugal, an academic registration document, a record of vaccination, and an academic qualifications document (certified by the local Portuguese Embassy/Consulate).

Be sure to apply for the visa as soon as possible and keep copies of all your documents.

Health Insurance in Portugal for International Students

Degree-seeking students must have their own insurance or be covered by a reciprocal agreement with Portugal.

After 90 days, students may apply for a National Health Service Card (Cartão do Utente do SNS), which would allow access to the Portuguese Public Health Service.

Special notes

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Beyond the States matches you with your ideal English-taught college in Europe.

Beyond the States provides access to 11,400+ European bachelor's and master's programs across 870 universities, 550 cities, and 212 areas of study, plus all the resources you need to get there. No sponsorships. No bias.
3400+
English-taught bachelor's programs in our database.
8000+
English-taught master's programs in our database.
550
Beautiful European cities to choose from.
870
Top-tier universities accepting international students.
€293,558
Typical savings against a private university in the US.
€55,098
Typical savings against in-state tuition in the US.
All inclusive of tuition, living, food, books, health insurance, travel expenses, as well as hidden fees. Compiled with data from students and the official websites from KU Leuven, UNC, and Duke.

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